You Can Write a Novel

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In fact, entire chapters of the book revolve around these downloads. They read like a user manual for his website tools, although it seems easy enough to create them on your own with paper and pen, a spreadsheet if you want to get fancy. Went to the website and the downloads are not available yet, so for outline people, paper and pen it is. I'm a huge fan of sarcasm, but this author insults the reader repeatedly. He makes comments that insinuate that the reader shouldn't be reading this book if he doesn't know this or that. And yes, much of this was common sense, but who cares?

Love on your audience, duh! The author uses examples from same handful of books over and over again.

How to Write a Novel and get Published: a Step-by-Step Guide

It was a neat idea considering that many writing books uses tons of different examples. I always wondered if it would be easier to refer to the same ones throughout a book. Turns out, I like the other way better. I felt like I was being beaten over the head with the example books by the last page. He put the submission chapter before the final edits chapter, which was weird.

How to Write a Novel in 15 Steps

He boasts a formulaic method of making your novel a success based on word count and word length. I think this is a nice addition to one's editing process, but I am not buying that this will make or break any book. If lengthy lines and giant words are turn offs then the classics genre is doomed. Apr 30, Lisa Harmonybites rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction , reference , writing. OK as in "meh. James Smith does have a few novels published--or so the book informs us, but none I had read or even heard of. That should have warned me. An editor who wrote a blog for newbie writers once offered this rule of thumb: Pay attention to who is offering advice on writing.

They should either be an author you admire or someone who ha On GoodReads two stars means "OK" and that's what my rating means: this is OK. They should either be an author you admire or someone who has gained best-selling status or someone who is or has been a gatekeeper--an acquiring editor or agent. Sep 21, Shann rated it it was amazing Shelves: writers-shelf.

How to Write a Novel - Novel Writing Tips

James walks you through his novel building process, including a fantastic storyline model that I use in every one of my projects. In my opinion, this one is a must have for every writer that loves planning and fleshing out their novel before sitting down to write. I am a planster, and James' system works brilliantly I absolutely LOVE You Can Write a Novel - I have tons of writing books on my shelf, and have probably read hundreds more, but this book is always my "go to" whenever I need a boost.

I am a planster, and James' system works brilliantly for me.


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Aug 30, David Hammerstein rated it it was amazing. This is a compact book that offers a vast amount of information. The book will guide my future writing. The book is clear and fast paced.

It offers sprinklings of humor as well. I found the book extra This is a compact book that offers a vast amount of information. I found the book extraordinarily helpful. I believe other writers will as well. I really like the note pads, although I don't completely agree with his organization system, it is quite handy. I also really like his steps to writing a novel, and it has made me more organized in jotting down important details.

How To Write Your First Novel (So You Wanna Be A Writer #1)

I'm normally a very scattered writer, so having a step-by-step in a way that actually makes sense was great. I like the examples he gives in writing using movies like Jurassic Park and Jaws to explain aspects of your plot and climactic scenes , and his "What not do d I really like the note pads, although I don't completely agree with his organization system, it is quite handy.

I like the examples he gives in writing using movies like Jurassic Park and Jaws to explain aspects of your plot and climactic scenes , and his "What not do do" parts are quite funny. Dec 14, Thomas Edmund rated it it was ok Shelves: books-on-writing. Can't help but notice this piece has a pretty good rating on Amazon which according to the author is a good sign but personally not my thing. There was certainty some good grains of wisdom throughout this how-to but for the most part the focus was on dry processes, which while in theory will help you write a novel I can't help feeling I mostly did just help Smith JR pay his bills.

I much more recomm Can't help but notice this piece has a pretty good rating on Amazon which according to the author is a good sign but personally not my thing. I much more recommend the other how-to write books in my reviews. Mar 30, Jacob Aitken rated it liked it. Lots of helpful gristle for the aspiring novelist, but I do have one problem: He seems to insist that one have an ultra-developed set of files for the characters, plots et al before beginning writing. This will take at least three weeks. That's good and helpful, but it also means most people will ignore any good ideas until and many will get burned out working on the ultra specific filing system.

These 10 Tips Will Help You Write Your Novel

Feb 09, Saira Priest rated it really liked it. Good tips on moving your novel along and taking it to the next level. I am pretty far into my novel and feel like it was helpful where I am now. Many things were affirming to let me I ow I was on the right track. Not sure that the tips would be as helpful to me at the beginning of my writing as there are different challenges to deal with in those earlier stages. Good polishing book. Some very technical aspects to it well. If you want a formula, this book will give it to you.

The Writing Cooperative

There are some golden nuggets inside, and some of his acronyms are helpful for plotting, but I got tired of the style and the "voice" quickly. There are better books out there for the craft, but worth a glance if you see it at the library. Nov 10, Mathis Bailey rated it liked it. So what did I do? In the past week, I skimmed every book I could think of and watched a half dozen movies I was already familiar with.

As I read and watched these stories, I took notes, writing down each scene and noticing if something positive or negative was happening to the character. This is something Shawn Coyne teaches — a scene either adds positive energy or negative energy as it contributes to the overall narrative. You can get deep into genre and spend a lot of time thinking about sub-genre, but be careful not to get lost in the weeds.

More on How to Write a Novel

What do you want them thinking when they go into reading your story? Be mindful of that as you write and try not to do anything that would violate their trust.

Before you start writing a novel...

Takeaway : Writing fiction is not just about making up whatever story you want. There are rules and conventions to every genre, and before you get too far into telling your story, decide what the genre is, and therefore, what rules and conventions you are going to follow. Depending on whom you ask, every story has anywhere from three to twelve, or even one hundred plot points.

There are scenes, sections, parts, chapters, themes, beats, and more. It can be kind of complicated and a tad confusing. But I take great comfort in the simplest version of a story, which looks like this: 1 beginning, 2 middle, 3 end. The more I studied different story structures, the more overwhelmed I felt. Instead of surrendering to the complexity, I went back to the basics and picked the three main story parts so that I could just start writing it.

I did this by following what Steven Pressfield calls the Foolscap Method, handwriting the story elements on an actual piece of paper. Of course not. The beginning is where the hero meets the situation that sets the story in motion. This is where the story really begins and it must grab the reader.

The middle is where the hero faces all kinds of trials and conflict, where his abilities are tested. The conflict gets worse, and the drama heightens. Coyne calls it the Middle Build, because everything builds in this section, and you wonder if the hero is going to get out of this one alive.

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